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Building Mental & Emotional Well-being 🧠
How to measure & improve wellbeing (8min Read)
What is Mental & Emotional Well-being?
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Self Awareness, Empathy, Social Skills, Motivation & Self Regulation
How to improve EQ
5 Practical Tools for Improving EQ
What is Mental & Emotional Wellbeing?
Before we start learning how to improve our Mental & Emotional well-being, let’s try to define it!
The World Health Organization defines it as,
“A state where individuals realize their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community."
Easy right? This goes beyond just feeling good, you also must have the perception that your life is going well and progressing.
At Rewrite & Rise, we use several tools to subjectively & objectively measure this with our clients before & after they start with us!
The first one is The Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS).
You can click the link above for a PDF of this scale so that you can start to use this tool for yourself.
By using tools like the WEMWBS we can better measure & define what Wellbeing means for everyone we work with! What did you score?!
Why Does Wellbeing Matter?
Improved Mental & Emotional Well-being has been linked to improved success professionally, personally, and interpersonally and has also been shown to increase your productivity, learning ability, creativity, prosocial behaviors, and positive relationships.
It has also been shown to decrease your risk for anxiety, depression, inflammation, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, life expectancy… The list goes on and on.
People with high Mental & Emotional Well-being also make more money, have happier marriages, and have higher overall life satisfaction.
There is almost no area that it doesn’t touch. This is what makes it one of the most important things to manage in our lives.
So, how do we increase it? We will be covering a few tools & tactics today around emotional intelligence specifically, and talking about how increasing EQ is one of the fastest ways to increase overall Well-being!
What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize your emotions, understand what they're telling you, and realize how your emotions affect people around you.
You’ve probably been around someone with high EQ before, and you probably loved your time with them!
They make others feel good and they go through life much easier than people who are easily angered or upset.
Having a high EQ is one of the quickest ways to increase your Mental & Emotional well-being.
The best part of all is it’s malleable and can be learned. Having low EQ only means you have plenty of space to grow!
There are 5 components of EQ. Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Empathy, & Social Skills.
Each of these can be measured & tested. This is another measurement we take with all of our clients when they start with us.
If you’d like to test your EQ, please feel free to reach out to us, we can get you set up with one of our psychographic tests!
Let’s break down each area of EQ and learn some tools to help you develop each of them.
When you have a high EQ you understand your emotions, and don’t let them rule you, or control your behaviors.
This also means you’re willing to accept feedback and have a very good understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.
The first step in improving this area is measuring yourself, there’s no better way to become more self-aware than having an objective measurement of how you’re doing.
You can do this by asking those around you like your friends, colleagues, or boss for feedback.
If you want the most direct, objective measurement, asking for feedback is your best bet, it’s easy to subjectively feel like you’re more self-aware than others think you are.
There are also tons of psychographic tests available to test your self-awareness.
For example, at Rewrite & Rise, we test the EQ of all of our clients before & after working with us using TTI assessments.
After getting a baseline you can start to measure your progress.
Something else we have our clients do to build self-awareness is journalling. This takes what's in your mind, and puts it onto paper allowing you to examine your thoughts and emotions more effectively.
This allows you to take some time to examine common patterns, triggers, emotions, perspectives, etc.
Over time, this will allow you to flex those muscles in real-time without needing to journal it all down.
Next up is self-regulation which is the ability to control your emotions and impulsive behaviors.
People with high EQ don’t typically let emotions like anger or jealousy overtake them or get out of control.
They recognize when their emotions are getting out of control and can bring themselves back to baseline effectively.
They also don’t fall prey to their impulses and think before they act.
They are generally thoughtful, can change, and have the ability to say no.
Saying no & setting boundaries is one that I personally struggle with, it’s not always easy to say no to people who you think may not include you next time if you don’t go.
We see this a lot with our clients who have High Functioning Anxiety or are People Pleasers. The fear & worry that others won’t like them turns them into a yes man or woman.
Regulating these emotions can help you set more effective boundaries in all areas of your life.
A tool we give our clients for regulation is the Name it to Tame it Tool. By naming your emotions, you can release their grip on you.
If you have a hard time saying no, what emotions drive that decision or action? Journal this out if you’re having a hard time getting to the bottom of it.
Once you know which emotions, name them, and make the names funny, this will help you regain control of your emotions and your behaviors.
This is one of the most powerful emotional regulation tools we use, try it out!
The third component of EQ is motivation. You don’t have to spend much time getting someone with high EQ motivated.
They understand that delaying gratification results in long-term success and use that future pleasure as a driver in the present.
If this is an area you need some help with, we suggest two similar tools. One is thinking about your future self and personifying them in the present moment.
Asking your future self if they’d be excited or concerned about your current behaviors & actions is a quick way to motivate yourself to keep going, or alter your path.
The next tool is an exercise we have people, who are developing the skill of delayed gratification, go through.
It’s called Second-Order Effects. The concept is that everything we do has first and second-order effects.
If the first-order effect is pleasurable, like eating cake, the second-order effect may be less pleasurable like a sugar crash, or obesity if this happens repeatedly.
By journaling about the first, second, third, and so on, effects of your current behaviors, you can develop a long-term mindset around your current behavior, and you will be able to motivate yourself with things further and further away from the present moment.
Next, we have empathy, this term gets thrown around a lot today.
Empathy is the ability to identify with and understand the wants, needs, and viewpoints of those around you.
There are 3 types of empathy:
Emotional (feeling the feelings)
Cognitive (perspective taking)
Compassionate (Listening, Connecting, Caring, and Responding).
People with empathy are good at recognizing the feelings of others, even when they aren’t obvious.
Also, and possibly most important, they avoid stereotyping and judging too quickly!
One of the best ways to get a boost in this area is to develop the superpower of Curiosity!
By developing this skill, you can learn to ask better questions, and truly understand the other person’s perspective, and how their perspective makes them feel.
This isn’t about putting yourself into their shoes, it’s about learning how to be present with someone, and being willing to suspend judgment while listening to how they’re feeling.
This superpower can be used to gather more perspectives as well.
Highly empathetic people often talk to strangers, and love doing so to expand their ability to understand different perspectives!
Finally, we have social skills. This one pairs well with the last tool we talked about for empathy, because talking to strangers also increases your social skills!
People with strong social skills are also more likely to care about the team first instead of only their success. They actively work to help others win and shine!
These skills also allow them to build and maintain relationships well.
One of my favorite tools to help develop this skill is the concept of being more interested than interesting in social situations.
This means trying to ask more questions to the people you’re around.
Someone with low EQ will often talk more, and try to be more interesting than interested in their conversational partner.
This is an easy fix. Preparing 3 or 4 open-ended questions that all have similar follow-up questions is a great way to prepare yourself to be more interested in your next conversation.
Some examples of these questions are:
What do you do for a living?
What got you interested in that field?
What do your day-to-day roles & responsibilities look like?
What are you becoming, or headed towards?
What makes you passionate about becoming that?
Where did you get that passion from?
By now, I hope you understand how improving EQ is such an important part of increasing Mental & Emotional well-being.
EQ sets the emotional tone for our lives. It also allows us to check the boxes of the Heroes Body more effectively!
The Heroes Body is our tool for increasing Mental well-being, if you haven’t read the Heroes Body post, I’ll add a button below!
I hope you finish out the week strong, and start to develop your EQ!
Until next time… Live Heroically 🧠